18.08.20. Birdlog.

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I started my watch overlooking the tank on No.6 where the rising tide on the River Mersey a mile away would hopefully bring in a few shorebirds. The water level was high but after over night rain it was even higher than yesterday. I wasn’t really expecting a great turn out of birds from the norm, but a surprise was in store. A flock of Black-tailed Godwit were already in situ in the shallow waters and during the course of the tide they were added to by other birds.

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I estimated the flock after scrutinising their numbers to be 2841 (give or take a few tens). I made a maximum count of 8 juvenile birds, so quite a low percentage of young birds to that of the flock.

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It wasn’t until much later into my watch and when the godwits had scattered slightly that I found a summer plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit (which I wasn’t expecting). On the tide a meager flock of 20 Common Ringed Plover, and just a handful of Dunlin were obviously restricted by the water level.

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No.6 tank an important resting and refueling point for 1000’s of Black-tailed Godwit stopping off en route to wintering grounds further south.

If there is an enterprising ‘conservation’ minded director at Peel/MSC who could help out thousands of wading birds during their perilous migration south, then please reduce the water table on No.6 tank (asap), less is more.

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A further look along the margins of the vegetated areas brought out 2 Common Snipe, 3 Ruff and a single Common Greenshank.

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The gull flock were mostly Black-headed with 4 adult and a juvenile Common Gull being oted.

Earlier the dull low cloud brought down 8 Common Swift (another 6 were over Weston later in the day), the occasional Cetti’s Warbler could be heard and a charm of c350 European Goldfinch were nearly robbed of their wing bling by a marauding juvenile Sparrowhawk. A few Western Reed Warbler could still be found in gaps between the reed beds throughout the day.

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All in all not a bad return for my efforts.

Observer and images: WSM.